Firefighters pull Nutbush man from burning apartment

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Some people living at a Nutbush apartment complex are homeless after a fire ripped through their building overnight.

One firefighter was hurt and one man had to be rescued from his bedroom when flames and smoke overtook his apartment.

That fire broke out just before midnight Thursday at the Festival Square Apartments on Pikes Peak Avenue, forcing everyone in one of the buildings out of their homes in the middle of the night.

"I woke up, my apartment was full of smoke and I tore the air conditioner out of the bedroom window where I could get some air and stuck my head out, or I wouldn't be here now," said Jeff Beal, who lives on the second floor.

Beal was sound asleep when he says he barely heard the faint sound of his smoke detector.

"It definitely saved my life," he said. "If it hadn’t have been for that, I wouldn’t have woke up. I almost didn’t wake up anyway."

But he soon realized getting out on his own wasn’t possible.

"I tried to come down the hall and it was like walking into an oven."

It looks like the fire may have started on the second floor, destroying the roof and heavily damaging at least eight apartments.

When firefighters got to the scene, the flames were shooting through the roof.

That’s when they heard Beal screaming for help.

"If it wasn’t for them, I would have had to bail out the second-story bedroom window," he said.

It took crews about 30 minutes to put out the flames, and one firefighter was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

Fire officials tell WREG he's going to be fine.

Meanwhile, Beal has some cuts and scrapes, but he credits his smoke alarm – and those firefighters – for saving his life.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what sparked the fire, but that they know it originated in the living room.

Officials report the total damage caused by the fire was more than $224,000 to the building and more than $95,000 to the home.

The Red Cross will be providing assistance for the two families, officials say.